A new psychoactive substance (NPS) is defined as 'a new narcotic or psychotropic drug, in pure form or in preparation, that is not controlled by the United Nations drug conventions, but which may pose a public health threat comparable to that posed by substances listed in these conventions'. The EMCDDA plays an active role in the monitoring, assessment and control of new and potentially threatening narcotic and psychotropic drugs (natural and synthetic alike) as they appear on the European drug scene. This page is a starting point to learn more about NPS as well as the agency's work in this area.
The EU Early Warning System (EWS), operated by the EMCDDA and Europol, plays a central role in supporting national- and EU-level preparedness and responses to new psychoactive substances (NPS). In operation since 2005, it comprises those two agencies, 30 national early warning systems across Europe, the European Medicines Agency and the European Commission.